The Bryce Drew era of Vanderbilt basketball begins this season, and will have another strong schedule of opponents to contend with. Coach Drew enters with high expectations from a fanbase that was disappointed with the last few years of Coach Stalling's tenure. This will seem odd to the national media who will underestimate us through much of the season. Still, Coach Drew will have to prove his mettle quickly with a talented Vanderbilt team that has plenty of tough winnable games ahead of them.
Vanderbilt's home-and-home schedule includes Kentucky, Texas A&M, Florida, Arkansas, and Tennessee. These teams average a KenPom rating of 54.2, slightly stronger than the average rating of 68.8. Even when you decide to read the schedule strength as being brought up a tad by Kentucky and Texas A&M's rating, the schedule is at least as strong as last year's. Arkansas replaces Auburn as the only team we're playing twice that we didn't play twice last year.
The rest of our SEC schedule, however looks a tad easier. Vanderbilt will play the rest of the conference one time each, which average for a KenPom rating of 109.1. This is lower than the average KenPom rating of the same slate of teams from last year, 84.9. I'll spare you my usual talk about how these numbers are probably a lot closer than they look, especially if you ignore Auburn's existence (213).
Full SEC schedule below:
|DATE||OPPONENT||Apr. 2016 KenPom Rating
||@ Texas A&M||19|
Vanderbilt will combine this schedule with a schedule of strong non-Confenence games, including the Big12/SEC challenge.